Watching with Wonder - Carly at Two

At 4:15 PM July 29, 2014 Carly Elizabeth took her first breath. Today, July 29, 2016, twenty-four very short months later I routinely chase her around the bed saying; “You can’t do that! It’s time for your bath.” While she replies, giggling; “No way…”

Is it simply that I am paying more attention? Is it that I have, like an investigative journalist, been chasing what it is that makes us fully human? Is it the experience of having fathered two wonderful and wonderfully different boys’ now grown mature men? The truth is, I’m still head-over-heels amazed at what Carly accomplishes daily, and I have been for the past two years. I share that special wonder Bev Bos described having cared for young children for forty years and mentoring over 6,000 early childhood education workshops.

“The longer I do this the closer to tears I am when I watch children. I can feel that rush. My eyes well up experiencing that freshness, the aliveness, the spirit of children. What I didn’t understand when I first started working with children was how exceedingly interesting every day was going to be. There’s a spirit inside every child and every day it seems to change because they’re interested in new and different things and this has kept me so fully alive. There have been Masters before us; Piaget, Montessori, people who really, really liked children as much as I do. I don’t think you can stay fully alive unless you’re with children. It keeps me grounded.”

Amen!

Themes: 
emotional state
language development

True Intelligence

Like water pouring over Niagara Falls neurons connect as capacities unfold at astonishing speed. This is simply what Carly Elizabeth, and every new human being, is, exploding growth and change. We tend to relate intelligence with what is known. People who know a lot are considered intelligent. Dr. Frankenstein, the true monster in Shelly’s tale, knew a lot but what he knew could hardly be called intelligent. How many Frankensteins do you know? You may be one yourself.

Themes: 
intelligence
language development

What’s In A Name?

Because the unnatural “routine” hospital birth of our first son was so devastating, the home birth of my second son ten years later was a tipping point. My real education began when I graduated from college and discovered I really did not know much about anything. Then came the insight that information isn’t intelligence. Thought and intellect are not wisdom. The monster in Shelly’s novel was the mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein, not the tragic creature he created. Compulsory schooling is mostly conditioning and conformity training not real learning which the safe, bonded, unfrightened body and brain does naturally, with complete attention and passionately lifelong. I discovered that patriotism is both a false identity and an act of violence. Health is the absence of dis-ease, something the pharmaceutical cartels can’t patent or profit from. I began to grasp what a miracle it is to be gifted this human experience, the Mt Everest of evolution’s billions of years of trial and error. The false hopes and false fears that sustain society, culture and my personal identity were dissolving. Whoops! If not ‘that,’ then what?

Themes: 
parenting
language development

No, no, no, no, no…..!

The other day, while preparing her majesties’ morning buffet, I asked Carly Elizabeth if she would like some coconut, freshly cracked out of the shell. “No,” she replied, perfectly stated with a casual air. MaMa and TaTa, the Czech version of DaDa, had been flowing for several months along with the regular crop of toddler babbling. This was startlingly different. Since that beginning the variations of ‘no’ have replaced, more or less, Carly’s banter. “No, no, no, no, no” she sings or mumbles, shaking her head appropriately and with all the correct facial expressions. As predictable as this event is, everyday miracles take one’s breath away. Another milestone. Carly Elizabeth will never be the same, nor will I and Z.

Themes: 
language development

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